by Stephen Gray

Solstice has come and gone and the days are getting longer…but not any warmer. Brrrrrr. By all accounts however there was a warm glow of studious activity and networking emanating from the University of Melbourne during the recent winter school. Congratulations to the 70-odd students who attended and brought enthusiasm and eagerness to learn and a huge thank you to all the people who gave lectures and assisted with labs and other activities.

Special gratitude of course to A/Prof Melissa Hart for the countless hours of work that goes into each year’s winter school and to Karla Fallon at the University of Melbourne for going above and beyond the call of duty that week to ensure things ran like clockwork.

Finally thanks to the admin staff at each node who helped with travel bookings, expense reimbursements and all the other considerations involved in getting 70 people to Melbourne for a week. The work of the admin team might sometimes go unnoticed, but I know that each member is proud of the contributions they make to the life of the Centre.

As those of you who read the Hump Day Tips will have recently seen, the initiative recently passed the milestone of passing 50 items shared on topics relating to wellbeing, equity and diversity and mental health among a wide range of topics. On behalf of the Diversity and Culture Committee, I want to thank the many people who have taken time to reply to various items. It felt like a gamble to launch something like this, so it’s encouraging to hear that it’s been well received and that the articles and tips that we circulate resonate.

In the spirit of feedback and open lines of communication, next time you log into clever to report on what you’ve been up to, you’ll see a new “suggestion box” icon. This is a mechanism for you to provide anonymous feedback to the Centre executive on what we do well as a Centre and to provide constructive suggestions if there’s something you think we can do better.

As always, Andy, Melissa and myself maintain a complete open door policy and invite face-to-face (or virtual) conversations about your experiences in the Centre. This suggestion box is recognition that sometimes it’s easier to write stuff than to speak face-to-face.

And while we are on the topic of Clever, you’ll see that there’s a few newly added features including a listing of our most commonly published in journals and their open access policies, a tab to see all the mailing lists available within the centre and to request to be subscribed to any that are relevant to you and finally a basic report to view all your previously entered data. I hope these new functions are helpful!